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Can small actions lead to big savings in water? DnA explores two apps that aim to help save and conserve water. Plus, does the traditional burial need to be redesigned?

Image: Edyn Garden Sensor, courtesy of Edyn.

Micro Solutions to Macro Water Challenges 19 MIN, 33 SEC

Faced with a historic drought, Governor Jerry Brown has mandated a 25% cut in urban water use statewide -- and Californians are flooding him with big ticket ideas for bringing in more water from elsewhere. But how about small, local, actions that could make a large impact? That’s the goal behind the design of apps empowering individuals to be careful guardians of their water use.

Jason Aramburu is a soil scientist and founder of a company called Edyn, which just released its first product: a soil sensor that connects to a smartphone application, designed by Yves Behar. It helps you gauge your soil’s health and moisture levels.

Another App, Hazel, being developed by Arid LandsHadley Arnold and team, will create a digital map of Los Angeles broken down into areas for different kinds of rainwater capture.

Walker Wells of Global Green explains how these approach differ from 20th century water delivery systems---and how they may help us take ownership of our water use in the future.

An Urban Response to Traditional Burial 8 MIN, 12 SEC

Katrina Spade is an architecture school graduate and the creator of a concept she’s called the Urban Death Project, an ecological approach to burial aimed at dense cities.

The Urban Death Project proposes fast, coffin-free composting -- in which our bodies would be laid over each other, separated by layers of nitrogen and carbon-rich materials, to decompose into a rich soil.

Sounds unceremonious -- even yucky? Not, says Spade, if the composting facility also serves as a “sacred space” for a new kind of celebration of life.  

Spade’s idea started out as a school project and has turned into a Kickstarter campaign to fund the next design stage. Katrina has already garnered over a thousand supporters and beaten her $75,000 goal -- shy of her fundraising deadline this Thursday.

DnA talks to Katrina about the Urban Death Project and how she went from architecture to decay.

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